Academy 1/48 Lavochkin La-7
The Lavochkin La-7 was an intermediate step in the evolution of the
Lavochkin fighter family. The LaGG-1 was a revolutionary design based
around a clean wooden airframe and the liquid-cooled M-105P engine. This
version was quickly superceded by the LaGG-3, which was essentially a
The La-5 resulted from further efforts to lighten the aircraft, including
replacing the liquid-cooled M-105 with an ASh-82 series radial engine.
The La-7 was based on further reductions in aircraft weight, coupled with
additional firepower and the ASh-82FN. With all of the armament located
in the nose, the wing of the La-5 and La-7 series was clean and simple,
providing more maneuverability than anything the Germans could muster.
More than 5,700 La-7s were produced, many of which remained in service
after the war.
The Lavochkin propeller-powered series ended with the La-9 and La-11.
The La-9 was basically an La-7 constructed from metal instead of wood.
The La-11 was an La-9 with greater endurance and firepower. Lavochkin
briefly entered the jet age with the La-15, which saw limited production.
The Academy La-7 is a reissue of the Hobbycraft kit of several years
ago. The kit is 60 parts molded in light gray styrene and an additional
four clear styrene parts for the canopy and gunsight. As with most Hobbycraft/Academy
kits, the molding is crisp with no flash, detailing is finely scribed
and no ejector pin marks in any spot that will be visible after assembly.
The kit is a very simple build with no hidden problems. The cockpit
is spartan, but with a little work (and a photo-etch detail set) can be
made into a beauty. The three-piece canopy provides you with the option
of displaying the aircraft with the canopy open.
One nice touch is the separately molded rudder, allowing for a deflected
pose. The elevators, ailerons and flaps are not positionable however.
As this aircraft was primarily an air-to-air machine, there aren't many
underwing options provided except for a pair of small bombs for those
days when interdiction was required.
are provided for two examples:
165 IAP, Germany, April 1945, flown by Lt Col Sergei F. Dolgushin
176 IAP, Germany, Spring 1945, flown by Capt Ivan N. Kozhedub.
Academy's decals are beautifully printed and my example is in perfect
It will be interesting to see how this kit ultimately compares with
the upcoming release of the Gavia 1/48 La-7. Nevertheless, at the end
of the day, this kit still looks good and with a little work, can be made
into a detailed machine. Another important factor will be price, as this
Academy release will still have a lower retail price tag. This kit is
My sincere thanks to MRC for this